- Scientific Name: Macropodus opercularis
- Family: Belontiidae
- Size: 4 inches
- Temperature: 60 to 78 degrees Fahrenheit
- pH: 6.0 to 8.0
- Origin: Asia
A paradise fish can be kept with other paradise fish when it is a juvenile, as well as with other similar-size community tankmates with the same temperature requirements. However, as a male paradise fish matures, it will engage in fierce battles, so only one male should be kept per aquarium.
The paradise fish should be housed in larger tanks (i.e., 30 gallons or more) that are densely planted with live plants, such as Hygrophila and Limnophila, on the sides and back of the tank, as well as floating plants like Riccia. Some of the artificial plants available in pet stores can be used instead, if you are not interested in maintaining live plants.
Provide lots of hiding places for the female in the form of rocks and driftwood, and leave plenty of swimming room in the center to accommodate the lively antics of this fish. The paradise fish is an accomplished jumper, so a tight-fitting cover is a must.
The paradise fish adapts readily to a wide range of foods, including small live foods, such as bloodworms, Tubifex worms, earthworms, glass worms and brine shrimp, as well as flake and freeze-dried foods. Supplement its diet with vegetable matter in the form of Spirulina-based foods or parboiled vegetables, such as romaine lettuce, zucchini or peas.
The paradise fish is easy to breed given appropriate water conditions. Condition the fish on small live foods and reduce the water level and increase the temperature to induce spawning. A male paradise fish generally exhibits brighter colors and has substantially longer fins than a female. It is best to isolate a male and female to a separate tank for breeding.
The paradise fish is a bubble-nest builder that build its nests among floating plants at the surface of the water. The male and female spawn in a “courtship embrace” under the bubble-nest and then both gather the eggs and place them in the nest. Once all the eggs are in the nest, the male will drive the female off and take care of the brood until they hatch.